Asus unveils 3G dual-SIM and LTE variants of Fonepad 7 at MWC 2014

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Asus announced two new variants of its refreshed Fonepad 7 voice-calling tablet at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. One variant features LTE connectivity, while the other is a dual-SIM variant with 3G+Wi-Fi connectivity. Asus however failed to announce the pricing and the availability of both the new Fonepad 7 variants.

Most of the specifications are the same between the new devices and the refreshed Fonepad 7 tablet, which featured a single-SIM card slot, and 3G+Wi-Fi connectivity.

Some of the key specifications of the next-generation Fonepad 7, launched in September 2013, include a 7-inch IPS LCD display with an 800×1280 pixel resolution, a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor with 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and 16GB of inbuilt storage.

Launched at MWC 2014, the Fonepad 7 LTE variant (ME372CL) supports 4G LTE networks, while the rest of its specifications identical to the refreshed Fonepad 7.

The second variant of the refreshed Asus Fonepad 7 launched at MWC 2014, is the ME175CG variant that features dual-SIM support apart from 3G+Wi-Fi connectivity, as reported by Phonearena. The 7-inch dual-SIM voice-calling tablet, unlike the 4G LTE and 3G+Wi-Fi single-SIM variants, houses a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2520 processor, with the rest of the specifications remaining the same.

The Taiwanese firm earlier in February expanded its PadFone smartphone-tablet hybrid line-up with the launch of PadFone Infinity Lite.

Much like its predecessor the Padfone Infinity, the PadFone Infinity Lite comes with a tablet docking station, which in this case features a 10.1-inch full-HD (720×1280) Super IPS display, which offers 224ppi pixel density. Like previous iterations, the smartphone fits into the tablet dock, powering the tablet with its hardware. The tablet dock packs a huge 5000mAh battery.

The PadFone Infinity Lite features a 5-inch full-HD (540 x 960 pixel) display which boasts a pixel density of 441ppi. Internally, the PadFone Infinity Lite packs a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor along with 2GB of RAM. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also includes a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.


LG F70 with Android 4.4 KitKat, LTE support unveiled at MWC 2014

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LG has announced a new LTE-enabled smartphone, dubbed LG F70, at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. Unfortunately, the company has not revealed any details of the availability or pricing of the new LG F70 smartphone. The company’s new smartphone runs Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box. The South Korean giant is targeting the LTE consumers worldwide with its new LG F70 smartphone.

The LG F70 comes with a 4.5-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) IPS display and offers a pixel density of 207ppi. The LG F70 is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor (unspecified chipset) alongside 1GB of RAM. It bears 4GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. The LG F70 sports a 5-megapixel rear camera and also packs a VGA front-facing camera. The smartphone runs on a 2440mAh (removable) battery and measures 127.2×66.4x10mm.

The new LG F70 also comes preloaded with the company’s new advanced UX feature, Knock Code, which is an upgrade to the KnockON feature that was introduced in the flagship 2013 smartphone, the LG G2. The Knock Code feature allows users to both power on and unlock the LG ( ) smartphone by tapping a personalized pattern on the phone’s screen. According to the company, the new Knock Code feature offers greater security as the pattern is entered on a blank screen using anywhere from two to eight taps, allowing for more than 80,000 possible combinations.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company said, “Not only does the LG F70 offer the best of LTE technology, its hardware and UX are also best-in-class. Utilizing our expertise in the field of 4G technology, we plan to strengthen our leadership in the global market.”

ZTE Grand Memo II LTE with 6-inch display, Android 4.4 launched at MWC

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ZTE, the Chinese telecommunications giant, on Monday unveiled its Grand Memo II LTE handset sporting a sleek body profile at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. While ZTE has not revealed the price of the ZTE Grand Memo LTE’s successor, it has been given an April launch in China, followed by European, North American and Asia Pacific availability.

The latest Android 4.4 KitKat OS runs on the single SIM-supported ZTE Grand Memo II LTE smartphone, with the company’s MiFavor 2.3 UI skinned on top. The handset incorporates a 6-inch TFT multi-touch capacitive screen with a 720×1280 pixels resolution, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

The Grand Memo II LTE device is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, which is clubbed with a 2GB of RAM. This is rather strange, as its predecessor sported a Snapdragon 800 processor. The camera options comprise of a 13-meapixel autofocus rear and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter manufactured by Sony.

The smartphone comes with an inbuilt storage capacity of 16GB, with support for microSD card. Some of the connectivity options housed inside the ZTE Grand II Memo LTE are GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light, compass, gyroscope, DLNA, Wi-Fi display, Infrared remote control, VOD and LTE connectivity.

Grand II Memo LTE is backed-up by a 3200mAh battery capacity that offers 16 hours of HD video playback, 72 hours of music playback and days of normal usage. The 6-inch smartphone measures 161.5 x 83 x 7.2mm in dimensions.

On the eve of the opening on Monday of the four-day Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, ZTE’s budget Open C and Open II smartphones were also launched, running the Firefox OS.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 entry-level chipset with 64-bit support, LTE announced

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Qualcomm has announced its new 64-bit mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 410, which is targeted at entry-level smartphones. As per Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 410 processor can be expected to go under sampling in the first half of 2014 and will likely be in commercial devices by the second half of 2014.

The latest Snapdragon 410 processors are manufactured using 28nm process technology and feature processors that are 64-bit capable along with the Adreno 306 GPU, full-HD video playback and supports for up to a 13-megapixel camera.

The company notes in a press release, “The delivery of faster connections is important to the growth and adoption of smartphones in emerging regions, and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets are poised to address the needs of consumers as 4G LTE begins to ramp in China.”

Further, the Snapdragon 410 chipsets feature integrated 4G LTE and also support 3G connectivity, apart from support modes for dual-SIM or even triple SIM.

Other features of the Snapdragon 410 chipsets include integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM, NFC functionality, and support for all major navigation constellations (GPS, GLONASS, and China’s new BeiDou). The Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset supports Android, Windows Phone and Firefox operating systems.

Commenting on the announcement Jeff Lorbeck, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Qualcomm Technologies, China said, “We are excited to bring 4G LTE to highly affordable smartphones at a sub-$150 price point with the introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The Snapdragon 410 chipset will also be the first of many 64-bit capable processors as Qualcomm Technologies helps lead the transition of the mobile ecosystem to 64-bit processing.”

Notably, Apple seems to have started the trend towards 64-bit processors in mobile devices, with the iPhone 5s and its custom Apple A7 SoC. Samsung followed suit after, with an announcement that it’s next-generation flagship would also sport a 64-bit processor.

Recently, Qualcomm unveiled its next generation of Snapdragon 800 tier mobile processors, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset features a Krait 450 quad-core CPU, which the company claims is the first mobile CPU to run at speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core. The Snapdragon 805 also features the Adreno 420 GPU, which according to Qualcomm delivers 40 percent more graphics processing power than the GPU on the Snapdragon 800.

Huawei working to develop 5G technology

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As people across the world get used to the fourth generation (4G) mobile technology, Chinese equipment maker Huawei Technologies has said it is working on the fifth generation (5G), which is likely to be available for use by 2020. The company said presently 200 people are working on the project and it has earmarked a specified amount for the research and development of the technology. It, however, refused to share details about the amount to be spent for the development of the technology.

Huawei Technologies official Wen Tong said that by 2020, there will be billions of connections and 5G can provide massive connectivity. The technology will enable people to have a fibre network like user experience on a wireless connection.

It can provide speed of 10 Gbps, which is 100 times faster than the mobile technology used these days, Tong added.

South Korean giant Samsung has also announced that it has successfully tested 5G technology and it will be ready for commercial roll-out by 2020.

Mobile operators across the world have started moving towards the high-speed long term evolution (LTE) or 4G networks and Huawei provides equipment to 85 such networks.

The company is also undertaking a trial run to test the speed on its 4G technology on high speed MagLev train in Shanghai.

Huawei has deployed an LTE network to support wireless connectivity on the train, which runs between the centre of the Shanghai district to the International Airport. The total length of the track is 31 km and the train achieves a speed of up to 431 km per hour.

The company said on that speed, its 4G technology can provide a download speed of up to 50 Mbps.